Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The top 10 wrestlers of 1985

Normally today's feature would cover the top stars of one of the great modern day promotions in the field, but today is a very special day where a time traveler from 1985 came to 2015 and helped the Cubs win the World Series. (Or something like that.) So while I'm waiting for Max Headroom-like representations of Reagan and Gorbachev to appear, it seemed apt to travel back to his time and look at the top wrestlers of the era where Rock N Wrestling first brought wrestling to a national level.

Their ending might have been tragic, but they were an amazing
team for many years.
  1. The British Bulldogs: While not yet the WWE tag champs, the Bulldogs were a hugely over act due to their amazing in-ring prowess. they would be embroiled ina long term feud with the Dream Team for the next year.
  2. Junkyard Dog: While not a title holder often, JYD almost always held strong positions on the card, often serving as the man to beat to get a shot at the WWF title. He was at the peak of his career in 1985, a bonafide star sadly held back from his full potential due to the racist attitudes still prevalent at that time in wrestling.
  3. Tito Santana: Tito is the most accomplished wrestler there is very little to say about. He held the Intercontinental title for much of the year, but continued to mostly be a buy the numbers champion.
  4. “Macho Man” Randy Savage: New to the WWF, Randy was already clearly a future star. He immediately took key positions on the card and his star power dwarfed the likes of Santana.
  5. Magnum T.A.: His career wouldn't last much longer, but Magnum was easily the second biggest star in the NWA by 1985. A consistent contender for the US title, it would have only been a matter of time before he made a run at the championship, but tragedy ended his career early.
  6. The Rock N Roll Express: What else can be said about the Rock N Roll Express other than they're arguably the most innovative tag team of the 1980s. They were hugely over and while their famous battles with the Midnight Express were on hold in 85, they were still wildly successful in the NWA. 
  7. Ric Flair: I'm sure some Southern wrestling fans will argue that Flair should be higher on this list. But in 1985, the NWA didn't have the penetration into pop culture WWF. While Flair was a huge star in every way, it would be a few years still before his home turf would start to compete.
  8. Wendi Richter: She's almost a footnote to wrestling today, but her alliance with Cyndi Lauper in 1985 was arguably more important than even Hogan's rise in making WWF culturally significant. Her alliance started the Rock N Wrestling era, even if she wouldn't stick around long after her amazing year as Women's Champion.
  9. “Rowdy” Roddy Piper: He was the baddest man in WWF. While he could never hit #1 on this list, in 1985, Roddy was responsible for making stars. He main evented Wrestlemania earlier in the year and would move on to feud with the champion for nearly a year, even taking the enmity to children's television the next year.
  10. Hulk Hogan: 1985 was the year that Hulk Hogan became HULK HOGAN. He teamed with international star Mr. T at Wrestlemania and instantly became a media darling. His charisma drew in fans and his shirt ripping became vogue among even non-wrestling fans. Feuds with Paul Orndorff and Roddy Piper turned Hogan into a superstar, even if he was never able to get a clean pinfall on Piper in '85 or ever again. 
Piper and Hogan were a perfect match as enemies.
There you have it, the Top 10 wrestlers of 1985. Am I right? Wrong? Downright crazy? Let me know in the comments section or on social media!

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